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Disabilities

Analysis

Towards a new disability policy

By Muralidharan

Persons with Disabilities Act

Census 2011 figures are likely to throw up more accurate figures for disabled population at around 9 crore. But the social justice ministry allocates only 10% of its budget to disability, and there are no moves to review the 2006 national policy

Given the enormous dimensions and complex nature of the problem of disability in India, and the failure of existing policies and programmes to address it adequately, there is urgent need for a re-orientation of the policy framework on the issue.

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Disabled Sexualities

Asexuality and hypersexuality

By Richa Kaul Padte

mentally disabled women sexualityThe stigma of hypersexuality attached to mentally disabled women and the assumed asexuality of people with physical disabilities both serve to exclude disabled people from the realm of socially accepted sexual behaviours, practices, and rights.

The intersection of disability and sexuality as navigated through this series has shown itself to be multifaceted and often misunderstood. However, the terrain becomes more complex as we take people – specifically women – with mental disabilities into consideration.

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Stories of Change

Standing up for the rights of the disabled

By Teresa Rehman
Morigaon district school teacher Prafulla Pator

In the northeastern state of Assam, riddled with insurgency, the rights of disabled people get even lower priority than elsewhere in the country. Disability Law Unit-North East has come up with successful legal interventions to secure the rights of the disabled in the region and to spread awareness about the protections available under the law

In Assam’s Morigaon district school teacher Prafulla Pator goes for his evening walks along the lanes of his village leaning on his crutch, attends panchayat meetings, and exudes a new-found confidence while working in his school.

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News

Survey finds disabled women doubly disadvantaged

A pioneering study on women with disabilities, conducted in five eastern Indian states, finds that disabled women, besides lacking education and employment opportunities, are completely ignorant about their legal rights

The first-ever baseline survey on disabled women, conducted by the Association of Women with Disabilities (AWWD) in the five eastern states of Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar, has found them to be sorely disadvantaged by lack of education and employment opportunities, and ignorance about their legal rights.

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Backgrounders

DIsabilities : Background & Perspective

By Rubina Lal

Between 5 and 10% of Indians have some impairment or disabling condition. This means that India has a huge population of disabled people. At the policy level, progressive legislation, schemes and provisions exist for them. But at the ground level, the disabled continue to be neglected and marginalised, with the onus of care on the family rather than the community. India needs to mark a shift from the medical model of intervention to community-based rehabilitation of the disabled

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Changemakers

Mirakles do happen!

By Indira Gartenberg

Dhruv Lakra's office in Churchgate

A courier service entirely run and staffed by the hearing-impaired? Is it a workable idea? Here's the remarkable story of just such a service surviving against all odds

I walked into Dhruv Lakra's office in Churchgate, Mumbai, on the morning of March 20, 2009, but was not expecting to witness an unusually quiet courier agency room. Seconds later, I saw a rapid -- almost electric -- exchange of messages in sign language between Dhruv and his team.

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Features

Disabled on an equal footing this election

By Shampa Sengupta

If Supreme Court guidelines are obeyed, the forthcoming Lok Sabha election will be a historic one. For the first time the poll process will be disabled-friendly, with ramps, separate queues and Braille-enabled voting machines that will allow disabled voters to enjoy the same rights as everyone else

“I struck off my name from the voters’ list after I started using a wheelchair following an accident,” says Sumanta Sarkar (name changed on request), a resident of South Kolkata and a senior central government employee. “I knew I would not be able to access the polling booth, and I cannot face the indignity of being carried inside the booth by others.”


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Books & Reports

My wheelchair flew like the wind

Disabled activist Naseema Hurzuk's story is representative of the trials and victories of millions of disabled people in India. In these excerpts from her book Naseema, The Incredible Story, she writes about Mohammed who has no hands but can hit a four in a cricket match, about wheelchair basketball matches in England, and more.

Naseema is the touching personal narrative of a wheelchair-bound paraplegic woman who led a normal and healthy life till the age of 16. From bewilderment at first and then suicidal depression, to coping and then rising from the ashes, her story is primarily one of transcendence - how she transcended her own disability by taking on the pain of other disabled people.

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Statistics

Distribution of the disabled population in India by sex and residence

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